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Neuropsychologist Reports Journals Rejecting Findings on Puberty Blockers and Children’s IQ

One reviewer reportedly suggested that the academic should explore non-peer-reviewed and unpublished studies that may present a more positive perspective.

Sallie Baxendale, a professor of clinical neuropsychology at University College London (UCL), conducted a review of research on the impact of chemically suppressing puberty on children’s IQ. Her paper, which sought to assess the effects of puberty blockers on cognitive functioning, was rejected by three journals before being accepted by the peer-reviewed journal Acta Paediatrica.

The professor’s use of the terms “natal sex,” “male-to-female,” and “female-to-male” to describe the children was cited as evidence of skepticism about the use of puberty blockers by the reviewers.

Interestingly, one reviewer suggested that the academic should consider non-peer-reviewed and unpublished studies which might present a more positive story about the safety and reversibility of the cognitive impacts of puberty blockers. Despite this opposition, Baxendale maintained that her study did not call for a ban on puberty blockers but simply aimed to highlight the lack of current research on the matter.

In her literature review, Baxendale concluded that there is no evidence that cognitive effects are fully reversible following discontinuation of treatment. She also highlighted that critical questions remain unanswered regarding the nature, extent, and permanence of any arrested development of cognitive function associated with puberty blockers.

Additionally, she pointed out that the NHS states on its website that “little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria.” Moreover, the NHS had announced new guidance that would tighten the rules on prescribing puberty blockers and restrict the encouragement of social transitioning. This decision was influenced by concerns expressed by Dr. Hilary Cass, a British paediatrician, about the “unquestioning affirmative approach” to dealing with children with gender dysphoria. The Tavistock clinic, due to close in March, is set to be replaced by regional hubs.

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